Reviewed: Thrènes

Words on contemporary releases. Seeking to offer an honest description of works which manage to exist in their own space and time.

Thrènes full label review



Nomen est omen is an often misused and hollow expression in the music industry, yet sometimes the name of a label or record indeed very much speaks for itself. The music on Thrènes, which takes its name from the Greek word for ‘funeral lament’, is equally dark, evocative, and full of emotion like a cry uttered when mourning. Hailing from Switzerland, Thrènes surprises us with a high level of production throughout their discography, hosting relatively new names like the duo Rotkeller, Addremove, and Restive Plaggona alongside the great artists Eomac, Ancestral Voices, and JK Flesh. They also put quite some effort into their podcast series, showing exactly what the label’s sound is about. It is against all these odds that Thrènes still remains under the radar, waiting to be picked up by daring listeners.

Atheos by Rotkeller starts with SW, a big and menacing opening credit to the imaginative journey of this EP, which has been an impressive listen a few months ago.The story throughout the record is immensely cohesive, with Malz and 17. October being the introverted examinations of the presented dark times ahead. Yet, within this darkness an element of light presented through the melodies and voice elements remains. 17. October is skillfully rendered into a more commanding, driving track by Eomac. Finally, Godless seems to be the natural end within the process of realization, or the story being told by Rotkeller.

This melancholy spills over to the work done by Addremove and JK Flesh on Clean Slate. influenced by genres as diverse as ambient music, experimental electronica and darkwave. Being coherent with the mood created on Atheos, the first track Letter From Police introduces a heavy rhythm unmistakingly referring to contemporaries like Phase Fatale. When They Fall From The Sky is a mindblowing layering of sonic drones without losing this spacious emptiness of a grey, overcast sky. The original Crie leaves enough elements to be reinterpreted by JK Flesh into a relentless industrial remix for late nights out.

The latest addition to the Thrènes discography is an album by Restive Plaggona, an artist on a definitive rise since the release on Noiztank Vienna. At the same time Silently Hopeless is the most heavy offering to date, completely refraining from soothing atmospheres, chucking us in a nightmarish dark abyss. Being pulled from feelings of uneasiness brought by Rote Zora until the cold-bloodedness in Hunted By Those Nights and Lovely Vale of Tears, we arrive to the climax in Sudden Burst of Safety.

With these spine-tingling sounds still reverberating, we can only imagine the dedication behind the curation of this label. From picking out well-fitting remixers for such challenging productions to maintaining a cohesive spirit throughout the three releases, it needs to be said that Thrènes is definitely a label worth watching out for.